Council on Foreign Relations Coming Out Against Drone Strikes?
As a gauge of the temperature of the American foreign policy establishment, it is hard to do better than the Council on Foreign Relations. And that uber-establishment organization has recently released a pretty hard-hitting critique of the Administration’s drone strike policy. It is not a knee-jerk attack, but a substantive policy critique, part of which is that existing laws aren’t quite sufficient to regulate drone attacks properly. Hence, the U.S. should:
■ explicitly state which legal principles apply—and do not apply—to
drone strikes and the procedural safeguards to ensure compliance to
build broader international consensus;
■■ begin discussions with emerging drone powers for a code of conduct
to develop common principles for how armed drones should be used
outside a state’s territory, which would address issues such as sovereignty,
proportionality, distinction, and appropriate legal framework;
Relatively uncontroversial stuff, although easier said than done. I do sense a slight shift in the establishment, which is moving very slightly against drone strikes. But it will be interesting to see whether this shift turns into a broader based policy change.